Whether you’re looking for a truly unique Alaskan souvenir to bring home to your friends or you simply want to add to your own personal collection of pins, Wm Spear Design is the place to go. Designer Bill Spear started the business after he ‘became fascinated with pins because [he] felt that the ancient art of enameling was being debased by a bunch of yahoos sending a picture cut out of a newspaper to China and having pins made for their fast food franchises.’ It’s not hard to tell that the artist has an incredible passion for the integrity of design and the creation of high quality enamel pins. His cozy little shop sits upstairs above Heritage Coffee Company, and inside, you can peruse all of his numerous pins and zipper pulls with originals designs ranging from Alaskan wildlife to whiskey bottles to body parts and organs. Spear prides himself on making quality items that can be sold at low prices, so you know you won’t be cheated of your money like you could be in other tourist shops.
Wm Spear Design, 174 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK, USA, +1 907 586 2209
Owned and operated by Juneau women with an extreme passion for shoes, Shoefly Alaska is the place ‘where women find sole mates and men find style.’ It is a little slice of heaven for the most ardent of shoe lovers. From waterproof flowered rain boots to four-inch sparkly heels, this boutique has it all. They carry major brands like Kenneth Cole, Dansko, and Havaianas, as well as more obscure ones like Sofft and Farylrobin, but they choose only the most beautiful shoes from each line to display and sell in the shop. The friendly staff is extremely helpful not only in assisting you in choosing shoes to buy, but also in finding great places to eat nearby. They also have a daily chocolate happy hour and they operate year-round, so there’s nothing to stop you from joining the shoe party.
Shoefly Alaska, 109 Seward St, Juneau, AK, USA, +1 907 586 1055
Founded by Tlingit Athabascan Form-line designer Rico Lanáat’Worl, Trickster Company promotes the innovative use of indigenous designs with their skateboards, longboards, playing cards, and jewelry. The company got its starts designing skateboards for friends and family, and then designing boards for other people in the community who wanted to see more. Since then, Trickster Company has continued to expand as creative opportunities and new ideas have arisen. The company focuses on the Northwest Coast art and explores themes and issues in Native culture, striving to represent a prestigious lineage of art in fresh and energetic ways to celebrate Northwest Coast culture as it lives today. Trickster works with many local native artists to produce their one-of-a-kind boards, shirts, stickers, cards, and accessories. Nowhere else can you get such distinctly Native Alaskan yet cool and contemporary products.
Trickster Company, 224 Front St, Juneau, AK, USA, +1 907 780 4000
At Jewels By Kris, you’ll find a beautiful selection of jewelry native only to Alaska, as well as amazing customer service that has inspired many to call them the friendliest in town. The owner, Kris, has earned a reputation for being incredibly sincere and honest. He is known to go above and beyond for his customers, answering any questions they may have and helping them understand what it is they are buying. He is even willing to look for, order, or design any items people want that he doesn’t have. The store is also known for being unique from other tourist stores in that the staff never pushes anyone into buying anything that they don’t want to, and guests never feel like they are being put under pressure. For many locals and visitors alike, Kris is the first person they call for any of their jewelry needs.
Jewels By Kris, 439 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK, +1 907 523 5274
If you are a discerning soap lover or simply someone with an interest unique products, you have to check out Glacier Smoothie on the Alaska Steamship Dock. The luxurious soaps at this little store are handmade by a local family that uses smooth glacier silt to give you unbelievably soft skin. As Alaska’s famous glaciers slip and slide their way to the sea, an extremely fine powder of mineral-rich clay is produced. This silt is then carefully harvested, heated thoroughly, and sifted by hand to be added to a quality combination of ingredients, resulting in a mixture with a very mild exfoliating effect. Glycerin is then added to the exfoliating glacial silt to give it the ability to draw and retain moisture, making for an unforgettable and refreshing bathing experience. Both locals and tourists love to stop at this shop for that glacier silt experience, the Mountain Man soaps, and the sample soaps they throw in with your purchase.
Glacier Smoothie Soaps, 365 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK, USA, +1 888 456 8325
By Catrina Pang